Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pheaturing Kim Edwards

Hey, kids, welcome to The Amazing Peverett Phile. Actually, there's nothing really amazing about it. What's amazing is I have been doing it this long. How was your week?  Well, let's start off with some good news. Gas prices are expected to drop to around $3 a gallon by this fall. The price drop is the result of a complicated system. It's called the election.  A group of gay Republicans called GOProud has endorsed Mitt Romney. There was some confusion. When they heard Romney had a reputation for going either way, they didn't know that meant flip-flopping.  Former President Jimmy Carter has criticized the U.S. for using drones to kill terrorists. A lot of people agree with Carter. They're all terrorists, but they agree with Carter.  Rielle Hunter announced she and John Edwards have broken up. That's scary. When a lying cheater and his home-wrecking mistress can't work things out, what chance is there for the rest of us?  A new study says it is okay for woman to drink during pregnancy. Well, why not? Most of them were drunk when they got pregnant in the first place.  While talking about the economy, Joe Biden said it's a depression for millions of Americans. He used the word "depression" to describe the economy. I don't know if Mitt Romney has picked a running mate yet, but Joe Biden sounds like he'd be perfect.  A rare copy of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation sold for $2.1 million at an auction house in New York City. As you know, the Emancipation Proclamation is the document that freed the vampires.  So, last night we went to see that new Spider-Man movie... there'll be a review of it in a few minutes so hang on. Anyway, it was a different film then I expected. Take a look at this screen shot to see what I mean.

Is that Lindsay Lohan by the way? It's not Emma Stone I can tell you that. Speaking of Emma Stone, she's really cute, isn't she?  So, the next movie I wanna see is the Katy Perry movie. If you don't know why, let me show you two reasons.

No, the microphone is not one of them.  I am wearing one of my "Doctor Who" t-shirts right now, and I was reminded the other day when I saw a really cool Doctor inspirational poster.

Or Foghat...  On last entry I had my friend Adrian come on and talk about people boycotting Oreo because they cam,e out with a gay pride Oreo cookie. Well, in the week Oreo came out with another ad on their website fighting back.

Well, it's Summer as you know... I think the scorching heat tells you that. And through Summer on the Phile I am celebrating one of the best inventions ever, I am talking about the bikini. The ultimate gift for your retro-gaming girlfriend. This Pacman bikini has it all... my favorite part is the ghost hiding at the bottom. Presumably he doesn't want to get eaten.

Okay, let's see who took the long dirt nap this week.

Andy Griffith
Jun 1, 1926 - Jul 3, 2012
Great. Now I'm going to have that stupid whistling in my head all day.

Alright, recently Mitt Romney and the Republican party raised raised more than $100 million in June. So I thought I would invite a friend of the Phile back to get his opinion on this. So, please welcome back to the Phile... Patrick Gaspard.  

Me: Hello, Patrick, welcome back to the Phile, sir. So, is Romney raising more money then President Obama?

Patrick: Good to be back, Jason. Yes, the gap between what we're raising and what they're raising is growing.

Me: What does this mean? It's not good, right?

Patrick: If we don't work to close this gap now, we risk losing at all levels in November.

Me: What are you guys doing about this?

Patrick: We're working hand in hand with the Obama campaign to ensure that the President, and Democrats across the country, are victorious in November.

Me: You have someone else that wants to talk about this here as well, right?

Patrick: Yes, Jason, I invited Obama campaign manager Jim Messina to talk about this fundraising gap...

Me: And how we can fight back I take it. So, please welcome to the Phile, Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messinia in a pheature I will call...

Me: Hello, Jim, welcome to the Phile, sir. So, Romney and the Republicans announced that they brought in more than $100 million in June. How does this compare to what you guys have raised?

Jim: Glad to be here, Jason. That's about what we raised in April and May combined.

Me: Patrick just said the numbers are getting wider as well.

Jim: We're still tallying our own numbers, but yes, this means their gap is getting wider, and if it continues at this pace, it could cost us the election.

Me: So, what now, Jim?

Jim: If all your readers who's been waiting to give pitches in $3 or more today, we can start reversing this trend in just a few hours.

Me: Okay, I really don't think that's gonna help... LOL. A million dollars is a lot of money.

Jim: One hundred million is alarming enough, but it doesn't even include the millions pouring into pro-Romney super PACs... or the fact that, unlike four years ago, it's perfectly legal for the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Karl Rove, and anonymous billionaires to funnel unlimited money into attacking President Obama in critical battleground states.

Me: Hmmmm, are you proud of the way you've built this organization, Jim?

Jim: I am proud of the way we build this organization. Through the primaries, more than three-quarters of our donations were from people giving less than $1,000.

Me: Meanwhile, in that same period, Mitt Romney's campaign raised three-quarters of its money from people giving $1,000 or more.

Jim: Jason, if we don't take this seriously now, we risk finding ourselves at a point where there is too much ground to make up. We need to do something about it. Today.

Me: Alright, well, Jim, good luck, keep us updated. Thanks, Patrick. You might get an extra twelve dollars today from my readers, we'll see.

Patrick: Thanks, Jason.

Jim: Thank you, is the website your readers need to go to right now.

Me: Well, not right now, there's more of the Phile left today. But after they have finished reading this. Thanks, gentlemen.

That old thing you bought is old now. It was new for a while but now it's old. So you need a new one. You just do. And it's okay. You're helping the economy if you just go out and buy the new thing. Stop worrying that the old thing was just fine and you don't really have any interest in buying the new thing. Just go buy it. Don't you want something new? Sure you do.  I figured I'd get the big obvious objection out of the way first, because that's pretty much the only valid argument against rebooting the Spider-Man franchise mere hours after the old one wrapped up and minutes after the Broadway musical enjoyed its moment in the sun as the butt of hundreds of quickly stale jokes. It's a sometimes tiring fact of the entertainment industry that they recycle everything eventually and, in this case, sooner than eventually. If you're devoted to movies you learn to live with it, making sure to keep it all in perspective: every film doesn't weigh the same, some are art, some are commodities, some are both, some are outsider experiences involving Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves communicating across time with the assistance of a magical mailbox. It's up to you to delineate what's what. Personally, I'll call this one a really enjoyable commodity.  Do you need to know the plot? Do you live on Earth? Peter Parker (The Social Network's Andrew Garfield) gets bitten by a spider and develops special spider-like powers. With these powers he battles crime while involving himself with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). This time it's the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), a scientist who moonlights as a domestic terrorist bent on unleashing a biological weapon that will make reptiles of us all. Peter has to summon the moral courage, wisdom and web-craft to defeat the monster and the third act fact that he does so will only come as a surprise to you if you've managed never to see a movie ever.  So why bother? A cockier, more confident Peter for starters. Garfield has an acrobatic physical presence and a self-aware air of post-teen authority that makes Tobey Maguire's wide-eyed anxiety seem less appealing in hindsight. And as a partner in love and heroism, Emma Stone's Gwen is the kind of can-do beauty-nerd that any superhero could feel confident about leaving on her own for a bit while he's off saving the world.  As a visceral experience it doesn't pack the kind of blammo-punch of epic joy that The Avengers delivered earlier this summer, but it's solid and satisfying: a cool villain, an anti-Spidey counterpoint who's also thoroughly sympathetic in Denis Leary as Gwen's police chief father, staggeringly great web-slinging sequences that provide both depth and a giddy sort of in-your-face gimmickry, a warm Sally Field as Aunt May and the single most inventive Stan Lee cameo yet.  No, you don't need it. You didn't ask for it. But here it is. You could do worse this summer. Way worse. And I know because my wife went to see Magic Mike and did not like it. From 1 to 10, it gets a 10, and I will be buying it the day it comes out on Blu-ray. 

The 20th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C. is...

The Whiskey Rebel will be a guest on the Phile next weekend.

Where's that at, 77 degrees... I wanna go there. Anyway, today's guest is a talented singer, songwriter whose new album Wanderlust is now available on iTunes. She'll be next appearing at Opening Bell Coffee in Dallas, Texas on July 16th. Please welcome to the Phile... Kim Edwards.

Me: Hello, Kim, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Kim: Hi, Jason, I'm doing well! Thanks so much for having me.

Me: You're from Pennsylvania originally, right? What part? My wife is from the Harrisburg area. 

Kim: Yessir, I'm from the Lehigh Valley area of Eastern PA. Not too far from Harrisburg at all.

Me: Where do you live now?

Kim: Currently, I'm in Dallas, TX, but as of late, the more specific answer is probably "my suitcase". 

Me: Did you move to Dallas originally because of your career or school?

Kim: I initially moved there in 2006 for school, but I have lived there off and on for the past few years. I most recently came back to Dallas last year to record my new album, "Wanderlust". So I guess you could say the answer is both.

Me: Kim, where are your parents from? They must be extremely proud of you.

Kim: My dad is originally from New Jersey and my mom is from PA, but they have lived in PA for over 40 years. And yes, thankfully, they are proud of me! I'm blessed to have great parents, and they've always been really supportive of my music career.

Me: That's good. Anyway, I downloaded your new album "Wanderlust" from iTunes and really enjoyed it. There are 14 songs on it, which is a lot for a first album. Did you write all the songs?

Kim: I did write all the songs. I guess 14 songs is a little ambitious for a first album, but I wrote the album over the past 4 years, so I had a lot of material to work with. And actually, it was originally going to be 12 songs, but I finished writing "Wanderlust" and "Blue" towards the end of recording, and we decided to include them in there as well. Which is good, because "Wanderlust" turned out to be the song that tied everything together for me, and it also became the title track.

Me: How long did it take for the album to be made?

Kim: The whole process took about a year. I recorded the first demo tracks in January of 2011. The recording for the album began in May, but we ran into a few delays due to my producer's crazy busy schedule (he is also a very in-demand sound engineer). We finished recording in December, and then mixing and mastering was finished at the end of February 2012. And then the album was released at the end of March.

Me: You have been playing piano since you were four, is that right, Kim?

Kim: Yes, I started taking piano lessons in kindergarten.

Me: Did you take lessons pretty much all your life?

Kim: Pretty much. I took lessons all the way from kindergarten through college, but I haven't had a teacher since then.

Me: Who are your influences music wise, Kim?

Kim: It's a long and varied list, but I'd say Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Queen, the Beatles, Coldplay, and some Billy Joel, among others.

Me: So, when you were a kid you loved Alan Menken's scores for Disney films, am I right?

Kim: Definitely. If you listen to the scores for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas, they are really quite beautiful and brilliant, in my opinion. I think those scores are terribly underrated.

Me: Do you have a favorite? I am guessing The Little Mermaid, just because you have a song on "Wanderlust" called "Oceans".

Kim: Haha, yes, I love The Little Mermaid! I don't know how much that actually influenced "Oceans", but yes, The Little Mermaid is probably my favorite. It was my favorite movie when I was a kid, but I also think it has the best score of the Disney movies. Plus, I'm a huge fan of Jodi Benson.

Me: What is it about these songs and scores did you like best?

Kim: I would say the melodies. I think Alan Menken is a genius. His melodies are so catchy, so interesting, and so achingly beautiful to me. They can still move me even today.

Me: Do you want to write scores for Disney films one day as well?

Kim: Maybe. It would probably be an incredible experience, but it also intimidates me, to be honest. I think scoring a movie would be hard enough, but to score something so theatrical as a Disney musical... it would be challenging, to say the least. But I do think it'd be fun to lend my voice to a character one day. Oddly enough, people tell me all the time that my voice sounds like it should be in a Disney movie... and I take it as a compliment.

Me: Someone said my voice should be in an episode of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force". Didn't you write to Disney or Menken and ask for scores and they sent them to you? Wouldn't it have been easier to buy them in a music store? ; )

Kim: I did! I was about 14, and I found an email address online for the department that handles Disney's scores. I told them I was studying orchestration and wanted to study a few of their scores, which is not something you can buy at a store. You can probably find an orchestral arrangement for some of the songs, but I was looking for the real deal stuff they used for the movie.

Me: What did they send, the scores on paper?

Kim: Yes, they were extremely nice and sent me copies of a few of the scores I requested... as in, they photocopied the original, handwritten scores with all the production notes on them! I'm still blown away by that.

Me: I definitely can hear the influences in your music, Kim. My favorite song on the album "The Show" is very vaudevillian and Broadwayish. Was that the plan?

Kim: It was. The piano part itself is very circus-y, very theatrical, and it seemed only natural to build on that. Plus, lately I've been really interested in the era of the early 1900s, and that definitely comes out in "The Show".

Me: When you write, what comes first, lyrics or music?

Kim: For me, it's always the music.

Me: Apart from piano you play other instruments as well, right? What other instruments do you play? 

Kim: The ukulele, guitar and a tiny bit of violin.

Me: What do you prefer to play? I'm most comfortable on the piano, but I've really enjoyed learning to play the ukulele. It's a rhythmic instrument, and I write differently on it compared to writing on piano. It's been fun to change it up a bit.

Me: Congrats on the success of the CD on iTunes. It's selling pretty good on there, right?

Kim: Thanks! It hit the top 25 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts when it came out, which totally shocked me. I had hoped to maybe crack the top 250, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see that it went all the way to 25.

Me: Are you surprised it's selling so good?

Kim: I honestly am, because I still feel very "unknown". But it's a huge encouragement to me that apparently people like it, and word is spreading.

Me: You're going on tour playing in coffee houses and what's this I read, living rooms? What? You are playing in people's living rooms?

Kim: Haha, yes. House shows are pretty great because they're so small and personal, and people are there solely to listen.

Me: Are you touring by yourself or with somebody?

Kim: I toured with a cellist during my spring east coast tour, but I am planning on going solo for the West Coast one.

Me: How can someone book for you to play in their living room?

Kim: Well, so far, I've been the one to set up the house shows. For the house shows on my Spring tour, I approached my friends and asked if they'd be interested in hosting a show at their place. Then they invite their friends in the area, and it's really fun and laid back.

Me: Good idea. You have to be careful about this kinda thing, Kim. You can't just play in any living room? There's some creeps out there.

Kim: Very true, which is why I stick with friends or legit friends of friends for house shows.

Me: I mentioned Disney and I have to ask you about this as I am just curious... I used to work at Epcot for 23 years, but the last few I have worked at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I was glad to see a picture of you on your Facebook page at Epcot.

Me: When were you there?

Kim: I was there at the end of this past March while on tour. We had a day off, and some friends hooked me up with a Park Hopper day pass. It was a blast! I hadn't been to Disney since I was 3, so it felt like my first time there.

Me: Did you do a show in Orlando?

Kim: I did, I played at a church youth event.

Me: Next time you're in Orlando and go to Disney, look me up at Star Tours in the Studios. Anyway, thanks so much for being on the Phile, Kim. I hope you have a long career and continued success. Go ahead and plug your website and anything you want.

Kim: Will do! Thanks again for having me.,,,

Me: Please come back on the Phile soon, and take care. All the best.

Kim: Thank you, Jason!

There, that about does it for today's entry, kids. Thanks to my guests Patrick Gaspard and Jim Messina. By the way, the Phile and myself are not in affiliated with any party. I am British after all. Anyway, thanks also to Kim Edwards. I love her new CD "Wanderlust". I hope I can have her back on the Phile soon. The Phile meanwhile will be back tomorrow with British blues singer and guitarist Mick Clarke. Then next weekend on Sunday it's singer Liz Queler and on Monday it's author and member of the band Rancid Vat, The Whiskey Rebel. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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